Recently I had a trifecta of positive customer service experiences – yes, it seems like an oxymoron to put “positive” and “customer service” in the same sentence. And to make it even more surreal, these experiences were with some of the biggest retailers who can often be the bane of our shopping existence. Has the economy finally given our retailers the wake-up call they needed, or was I just lucky on a sunny Saturday in San Rafael?
First, a stop at my local Comcast office to pick up a DVR. With the new digital transition, I had to give up on TiVo – or pay a steep upgrade charge for a new box and more pricey service – when Comcast’s solution seems like it will do just fine, and for a lot less. After a brief wait in line, my customer service rep got me on my way in no time – with a pleasant attitude, helpful advice and some movie tips. Shocker #1.
Then, on to Verizon where I needed a mobile antenna for my new netbook. Not only did I need the device, but I needed help installing the software. The boys at the Verizon store were exceptionally helpful – from the greeter at the door, to the happy salesman who set up my computer, I was out of there in 30 minutes or less. As good or better than Dominos. And less fattening.
Last stop and with the potential to blow my perfect score – a trip to Best Buy. I needed a portable DVD drive for my netbook so I could download all of the programs that don’t come with my new computer, of course, but that’s a different story. I didn’t know what the “thing” that I needed was even called. Thankfully, the concierge greeter at the front of the store was there to help decipher my lame attempts to sound like I knew what I was talking about, and he pointed me in the right direction. I got the item, with the help of the consumer electronics specialist, and had a quick and painless check-out. I had a nice chat with the same greeter on the way out which completed the day. Three for three and batting 1.000.
On top of helpful service, clean stores and nice people, the really good news is that all three items worked when I got home. Cha-ching. So now I have to ask the really tough question – was that all so hard?
It would make sense that retailers across America would be doing more to train and support their employees to drive growth in a tough economy, and that employees would be more enthusiastic to be at work just because they have a job right now. But on top of all that, isn’t it just easier and more fun to do a good job and be nice to customers especially when they are paying you money? In addition to the bottom line benefits, the emotional payback is huge – for the customer and the employee. At the end of the day, isn’t that reason enough?